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FF: Happily Ever After, part 3 of 4

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  • jcwimmer@aol.com
    (continued directly from part 3) Logan did his best to stifle a growl as Jean applied restraints to Marie s wrists, ankles, and waist. She d been stripped
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 17, 2001
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      (continued directly from part 3)

      Logan did his best to stifle a growl as Jean applied restraints to Marie's
      wrists, ankles, and waist. She'd been stripped down to her body stocking,
      and a hospital gown was over her, but Jean was still cautious as she
      tightened the cords. To Logan, it looked far too much like the torture he'd
      been put through for comfort.

      "Don't make them too tight," he told Jean with a snap. "They'll hurt her."

      "She's likely to be invulnerable for quite some time," Jean assured him.
      "Don't worry about it. I couldn't even get a needle into her skin to take a
      blood sample."

      "Yeah, well Scooter managed well enough," Logan rumbled. There had been two
      bloody marks on Marie's chest, both just beneath her right collarbone, and it
      had angered him that Scott would do such a thing to his Marie.

      "She had to be sedated," she reminded him. "Scott says she was violent, and
      she could have hurt herself or someone else. If she wasn't able to get
      around Carol's thoughts, she might have run, and who knows where the hell she
      would have wound up. Just be thankful the invulnerability hadn't kicked in
      fully at that point."

      "Yeah, right," Logan agreed, but he wasn't sure that he condoned Scott's
      act. Deciding not to dwell on what could not be changed, he focused his
      attention on Marie. Mentally repressed, she was an eerie calm, her eyes half
      open but her body shut down. It was a terrifying thing to see. Marie was
      always fire and energy to him, and seeing her this still was bothering him on
      levels that he didn't know he had. For all the attempts he made to block out
      the animalistic side of his nature, all of that went to hell when it came
      down to his mate. That was how his body saw her, as his mate, and the need
      to protect was overwhelming.

      Hank walked over and moved the hospital gown out of the way to apply EKG
      leads to her chest. Logan's eyes narrowed as the man touched her, but he
      didn't say anything. Hank was a doctor, and Logan knew that there was
      nothing more going on. It was no different than if Jeannie were doing the
      same. He knew that. So why the hell did it get to him on that same level as
      protecting his mate did?

      "Damn it," Hank muttered as he fiddled with the machine before him.

      "What?" Logan asked.

      "Even with the gel, we're not getting a sufficient signal through the
      material. I'm going to have to have bare skin. Let me go get some gloves."

      As Hank went to do as he'd said, Logan eased out one claw and slit the front
      of the stocking from neck to navel. Marie was going to kill him, but if the
      good doctor needed skin, Logan would see that it was available as quickly and
      efficiently as possible. He needed to know she was okay, and Hank was his
      best chance at getting that reassurance.

      Hank made no comment as he returned and repositioned the leads on her chest.
      He watched the blips on the monitor, tapped a few buttons on the keyboard,
      and waited for the printout. While he examined it, he nodded absently and
      turned to leave. Logan still wondered what the hell was going on.

      Jean walked over a moment later with the professor at her side. "Logan, we
      need to discontinue the mental block," she told him. "I need for you to stay
      close in case the restraints don't hold."

      Logan just nodded, and didn't move. If the restraints were to go, he'd be
      stunned. He and Hank had made them out of steel cable a couple of years
      before, padded and wrapped, but steel just the same. Even he couldn't bust
      through them unless his claws were involved.

      The professor did his concentration thing once more, and Jean closed her
      eyes so that she could get a feel for what was going on in Marie's head.
      Logan could have told them that she'd go ballistic if she woke up in the
      restraints, but he decided they'd figure it out for themselves soon enough.

      Jean screamed.

      The professor's head came up as though he'd been punched, and Jean put her
      hands to her head and screamed again. Logan caught her before she fell, and
      looked to the professor in confusion. Meanwhile, Marie began to tug at the
      restraints, her eyes wide and her screams absolutely feral.

      Setting Jean down on the floor, Logan moved closer to Marie. "Kid, it's
      Logan. Do you hear me?"

      She continued to thrash violently, and thankfully the restraints held.


      The professor moved towards Jean, checking on her, and then came closer to
      Rogue. "I sense none of Rogue," he said simply. "Carol seems to have taken

      "How long will it last?" Logan asked. He knew she'd carried his traits for
      a few days, although she'd retained some sense of herself at the same time.
      This couldn't be much different.

      "I don't know," the professor admitted. "She's never absorbed someone to
      the point of death. I don't know if she will recover from this."

      Logan turned to the professor and stared. "What?"

      "Rogue killed Carol," he explained. "She completely absorbed her energy, as
      well as her memories. I don't know how much of Rogue can be left after that."

      Logan watched Marie thrash for a moment more, and then faced the professor
      again. "What can you do?" he asked. "You had her calm before."

      "I had her sedated," he corrected. "I essentially blocked all but the
      involuntary reflexes, such as breathing and heartbeat. It's not something I
      can maintain, even if it were an answer."

      Logan sighed, and nodded his understanding. "So what do we do?" he asked.

      Jean was finally collecting herself enough to stand, and she faced Logan
      herself. "We wait," she said softly, still rubbing her temples where Carol's
      strength had battered her mental control. "We keep her from hurting herself,
      and we wait. There's really nothing else we can do."

      So, Logan waited.

      He had never waited so long and so impatiently for anything. After two
      days, Jean had finally kicked him out of the infirmary. She said he'd been
      making a pest of himself. Honestly, he'd just been looking after Marie.
      After two more days, he was nearly ready to battle his way back in. Jean had
      given him no news of her condition improving, and no hope for her recovery.

      He'd finally gone after Scott, thinking that as leader of the mission he
      should have done something to prevent what had happened. Unfortunately,
      Scooter had agreed with him and hadn't put up the fight that Logan so
      desperately wanted.

      Now, it had been a week. They'd let him in to see her a few times, but he
      couldn't stand to watch it. They'd moved her to a holding room, so that she
      could move around without escaping. Actually, they'd thought that Logan's
      concerns about the restraints were valid, given his memories of captivity.
      Marie hadn't been still since. She didn't sleep, wouldn't eat, and most
      times hovered over the ground with a murderous look in her eyes.

      Marie had finally ripped off the body stocking, as well as the gown, and now
      hovered naked in the confinement area. Her hair was knotted and wild, her
      expression angry and frightened, and she made it clear that Logan brooked no
      special treatment from her. She had no clue who he was, much less what they
      had shared.

      Logan lowered his head to rest his forehead against the clear Lexan of the
      viewing area. She wasn't getting any better, and there wasn't a damn thing
      he could do about it. The only thing that could be reasonably said about her
      was that she was weaker than she had been, and thus less likely to hurt
      anyone. It didn't make Logan feel any better.

      The professor had come in with him, and was now opening his eyes, focusing
      on things around him rather than Marie's hectic mind.

      "Anything?" Logan asked, but there was little hope in his voice.

      "Only Carol," he said softly. "She simply isn't strong enough to push her

      "How long can this last?" Logan asked. "I was only in her mind for a few

      "She didn't kill you," the professor explained. "While she's retained some
      of your traits, such as stubbornness and lack of trust, she didn't take in
      all of you. If she had, I'd imagine that we'd have had a similar situation.
      Her mind simply wouldn't have been powerful enough to combat your stronger

      Logan thought about that for several moments. "Would Carol be strong enough
      to fight my personality?" he finally asked.

      Xavier looked at him, really looked at him, clearly judging his mental state
      as he evaluated the idea. "I don't know," he answered.

      "We've done it your way for a week," Logan explained. "It's not helping

      "I have no desire to put another of the team at risk," he answered, shaking
      his head. "It wouldn't be safe."

      "What if it was?" Logan asked, urgency coming into his voice. "It isn't as
      though we haven't done it before. We could at least check with Hank and
      Jeannie. Maybe it would work."

      The professor shook his head once more. "I don't approve," he told the
      younger man. "But we can ask."

      It had been that simple. In retrospect, Logan had no clue why he hadn't
      thought of it earlier. Marie was battling Carol in her head, and it only
      made sense to send him in to help her out. Hank had balked a bit, but
      Jeannie had been optimistic about the chance. As for him, he was just glad
      to be doing something, rather than sitting around with his thumb in his ear.

      Now, he found himself facing the hard part: getting a grip on a flying
      Marie. Even weakened by hunger, she was not only fast but strong. He'd had
      his hands on her once, but he hadn't been prepared for her strength. Since
      then, she had stayed as far out of his grip as possible, now huddling in the
      upper corner of the room. The professor and Jeannie were watching at the
      observation window, and he wondered just how stupid he looked before deciding
      that he didn't really care.

      He'd tried coaxing, and he'd tried begging. Hell, he'd even tried threats.
      The problem was, this Carol didn't know who the fuck he was, and she didn't
      trust him at all. Still, somewhere in there, enough of Marie had to be left
      to come to him. She just had to be. He couldn't have lost her this way.

      He tried for another two hours before taking a break. He had a bite to eat,
      drank a beer, and then went back into the room for round two. Thankfully,
      when he went in she was dozing slightly, and was down at his level. He crept
      quietly towards her, poised in case she should awaken, and once he was near
      enough he grabbed her from behind.

      He would have liked to have been gentle, but Carol didn't allow it. He
      hoped that the invulnerability Jeannie seemed so certain of was actually the
      truth, otherwise he'd be explaining bruises to Chuck for the next month.

      Logan had grabbed her by the upper arm, and now he took the opportunity to
      ease his hands town the screaming, squirming woman to her wrists. Their skin
      was meeting without a barrier, but she wasn't pulling anything from him. To
      reinforce his grip, and also to gain a little more leverage, he crossed her
      arms over her body and sat down against the wall with his own arms wrapped
      around her. Then, he held her.

      And held her.

      Ten minutes later, he still hadn't felt any more than the most cursory pull
      of her mutation on his energy, and he wondered if he'd imagined that.
      Swinging a leg up over hers, he kept her in his grip while he reached back
      and tugged off his shirt. Perhaps more skin exposed would help. It couldn't
      do any less.

      And he held her.

      It was the most frightening sensation, to have Marie in his arms and yet not
      be holding her. He wasn't sure what to do about it. She was still tugging
      against him, still grunting and grumbling without forming coherent words.
      Regardless, he held her until he felt her mutation kick in.

      It hit quickly, but it wasn't too fast for him. He eased her away with one
      hand, feeling the drain for a few moments. It was the same painful sensation
      he'd experienced the first time, but it wasn't as intense, wasn't as
      overwhelming. He could maintain his composure while the drain took place,
      and he could feel when it became too much.

      Just as he began to feel dizzy, he pushed her away and slid the discarded
      shirt between them. She had stopped struggling, so he released her arms and
      continued to restrain her with only his leg thrown over hers while he caught
      his breath. He heard the professor in his head, and sent back a thought that
      he was okay, and that everything was under control. He hoped he was right.

      As he tried to regain his strength, he looked down at the woman leaning
      against him. Her head flashed back and forth, hitting him in the chest
      repeatedly, but the struggle was within her rather than against him. The
      professor sent him another thought, that she was fighting now, and he said a
      silent prayer in thanks.

      It took a while for him to regain his strength. While she hadn't taken
      enough to cause unconsciousness, it had been a near thing. He waited while
      she struggled in his arms, while she moaned and thrashed, and then waited
      more while she finally relaxed into sleep. For some reason, he felt he'd won
      a battle.

      It was several hours more before he knew he'd have to go through it all
      again. She awoke in his arms, screeching and tugging away, and he did the
      only thing he could. Clutching her arms once more, the shirt tossed aside,
      he held onto her for dear life. He sent a mental yell to the professor,
      letting him know that Carol was back in control and that he might need some
      backup, and then he settled in to wait.

      It was a long wait. Nearly an hour later the pull began, although far
      weaker than it had been the previous time. While he was used to it taking
      longer each time he touched her, a fact they'd noted after the third time
      they'd touched, he wasn't used to the lessening of the intensity. Not like
      this. Still, after quite a long time, he began to feel dizzy once more and
      he reached for the shirt to protect himself.

      As he moved the shirt into place, he shifted Marie between cramped legs and
      held her once more with a leg. She turned to him, gazed up into his eyes,
      and for the first time in over a week he saw the woman he loved.

      "Logan?" she asked.

      "I'm here," he told her. "I'm not going anywhere."

      (concluded in part 4)
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